I love the changing of the seasons. While it took a little while for summer to get here, I was glad it lingered for quite some time. (Last weekend was our last, nice, summer-y weather until next July–usually our summers end by the first week of October.) However, it was apparent by the weather this past weekend that fall has definitely arrived. My husband and I have been drinking apple cider like nobody’s business, and we braved the rain and wind to tote around the pumpkin patch to get that perfect pumpkin for carving.
Along with the changing of seasons, our season of life is changing too. As you probably already know, Eric and I are transitioning to welcome another baby–this time a girl. Just four more weeks to go! (Panic and nesting modes have begun to settle in.) We currently live in a 2 bedroom, 1000 square-foot condo, which means Matthew will share a bedroom with her. There are certainly some positives to kids sharing rooms, but we are starting to feel a little cramped. Good thing the kids are small. As a result, we’ve moved our desk downstairs to create a bit more room, which means I have given up my desktop, where I know where every file is, to sharing a laptop with Eric and having every file and photo on an external drive, where I do not know where everything is.
But what has been the hardest for me to come to terms with is that I cannot do it all. I love baking, writing, this blog, and you. Unfortunately, with working full-time right now and in the last month of pregnancy, I have not had the energy to do any of those extra things that I love so much. AND it kills me. I love reading your responses and knowing you’re a part of my blog life, but as you’ve noticed, I haven’t been writing as consistently or as frequently as I used to. I guess all this to say I still think about you and this blog, but for the next three or so months, posts will be few. (My guess is they will be a few times a months.) But I do this because I love it, and right now, in this season, I need to take some time for myself and my family. Don’t worry though, I will not be semi-absent for too long; I promise I’ll be back when things settle down and return to my new “normal.”
Okay, transitioning back to these decadent pecan bars. They are by far on my top list of favorite fall desserts. They combine not only pecans, but chocolate chips, and let me tell you, chocolate with anything is worth it! These bars are quite rich, so I was glad to share the wealth between our family, my parents, and my co-workers. None lasted for very long. (Which tells you just how good they are!) Well worth the little extra time in making them. Enjoy! xoxo
3 c pecan halves and pieces
1 ¾ c flour
¾ c powdered sugar
¾ c cold butter, cubed
¼ c unsweetened cocoa
1 t ground espresso
2 c semisweet chocolate chips
¾ c firmly packed brown sugar
¾ c light corn syrup
¼ c butter, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake 6-9 minutes, or until toasted lightly and fragrant. Meanwhile, line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Let cool completely before removing from cookie sheet. (This can be done the day before.)
Using a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, cold butter, cocoa, and ground espresso until the butter is small and pea-sized. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot crust. Wait a minute or so for the chips to melt. Using a spatula, gently spread the chips around until the crust is completely covered evenly by the chocolate. Let stand for 30 minutes to cool down before continuing.
Whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and eggs until smooth. Gently stir in the coconut and toasted pecans. Pour evenly over the chocolate. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and set. Let bars cool completely at room temperature. Chill for 1 hour before lifting out of pan to cut into bars.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Southern Living